New beachside eatery opens in Dubai

UAE-based hospitality group's CEO Evgeny Kuzin shares vision behind Maison de la Plage and his plans to scale homegrown concepts globally

by

Husain Rizvi

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Evgeny Kuzin - Photos by Shihab/KT
Evgeny Kuzin - Photos by Shihab/KT

Published: Sat 10 Feb 2024, 1:17 PM

Last updated: Sun 11 Feb 2024, 12:12 PM

Dubai's culinary landscape is about to get a fresh splash of innovation and flavour as Fundamental Hospitality's CEO, Evgeny Kuzin, joins forces with renowned Chef Izu Ani for the grand opening of Maison de la plage today at Palm Jumeirah's West Palm Beach. This marks the third collaboration between Kuzin and Izu Ani in less than two years, after Dubai Mall's La Maison Ani and DIFC's La Petite Ani.

In a conversation with City Times, Evgeny Kuzin shared insights into his entrepreneurial journey and the evolution of Dubai's hospitality scene. Reflecting on his early ventures in the city, Kuzin reminisced about the challenges and triumphs that shaped his path. From launching coffee shops to pioneering nightclubs, his ventures laid the groundwork for Fundamental Hospitality's emergence as a global player in the F&B industry.

"We started with a vision to introduce iconic international brands to Dubai," Kuzin explained. "But in 2017, we made a strategic shift towards developing our own homegrown concepts, with a commitment to scaling them globally."

This commitment to innovation and expansion has led Fundamental Hospitality to launch a series of successful ventures, with brands like Gaia and Le Maison Ani making waves across the globe. Now, with Maison de la plage, Kuzin and Chef Izu aim to elevate Dubai's beachfront dining scene to new heights.

"Maison de la Plage is an extension of our vision to create immersive culinary experiences that resonate with both locals and tourists," Kuzin remarked. "It's not just about serving great food; it's about crafting memories that linger long after the meal is over."

Drawing inspiration from the laid-back elegance of coastal living, Maison de la plage promises a relaxed yet refined ambiance where guests can unwind against the backdrop of pristine sands and azure waters, reminiscent of the French Riviera. Inspired by Chef Izu's culinary journey, the venue features daily French cuisine rooted in the vibrant atmosphere of French markets. Guests can personalise their meals while enjoying a serene ambiance with tranquil colours and playful palm prints creating the perfect atmosphere.

And what better place than Dubai to bring in this concept? The city continues to see a massive spike in the number of inhabitants. "Dubai is the best city in the world," Kuzin said. "It is definitely a melting pot, it feels like we're living in the future, way ahead than everybody else. A lot of people have moved to Dubai from across the world, and continue to do so, especially post pandemic. The community is amazing here, so is the leadership."

Dubai is also the best platform to create a brand and introduce it to the global market, Kuzin adds, "Because you have people visiting Dubai from everywhere. It's a global centre stage for them, so they will always want a piece of Dubai for when they return to their homes."

This ultimately translates into Dubai establishing itself as a great city for entrepreneurs. When asked for advice on entering the culinary and hospitality space in the city, Kuzin had one word at the tip of his tongue: location.

"It is a fantastic market," he said. "It is definitely very competitive, people need to understand the concept, whom they cater for, and where they want to open. This is the most important rule I learned after all these years in this space. It is a great market, there is room for everybody. At this point, Dubai is definitely the culinary capital of the world."

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